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RevTestament

If God became man, why is it heretical for man to become God?

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I thought I might pose this question to our visitors who tend towards the traditional view. 
Do you believe the man Yeshua shall become the eternal Father?

(warning: If so you might be a redneck er I mean a closet LDS Christian.... :) )

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Because that's what Satan wanted people to believe, that they can become Gods. 

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4 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Because that's what Satan wanted people to believe, that they can become Gods. 

Do you really believe that, or are you just being facetious?

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2 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

Do you really believe that, or are you just being facetious?

Well, it does mention Satan convincing Eve that she can become like God in the Bible. And Freemasonry is part of the church's beginnings. Why do we have the all seeing eye and other symbols on our temples and in our tabernacles, and have similar signs and tokens? Or the lion and beehive, both have masonic meanings. If you read about it in the link, they mention men working on their own salvation. And this is what the non-LDS Christians are saying  LDS do and that it is heretical.

 https://www.jashow.org/articles/where-do-masonry-and-christianity-conflict-part-1/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormonism_and_Freemasonry

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4 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Well, it does mention Satan convincing Eve that she can become like God in the Bible. And Freemasonry is part of the church's beginnings. Why do we have the all seeing eye and other symbols on our temples and in our tabernacles, and have similar signs and tokens? Or the lion and beehive, both have masonic meanings. If you read about it in the link, they mention men working on their own salvation. And this is what the non-LDS Christians are saying  LDS do and that it is heretical.

 https://www.jashow.org/articles/where-do-masonry-and-christianity-conflict-part-1/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormonism_and_Freemasonry

Yes that is what people say, but that doesn't answer the question.

People are wrong about that :)

 

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1 hour ago, RevTestament said:

I thought I might pose this question to our visitors who tend towards the traditional view. 
Do you believe the man Yeshua shall become the eternal Father?

(warning: If so you might be a redneck er I mean a closet LDS Christian.... :) )

I would say that the idea of men becoming gods is more traditional then you give tradition credit for ;)

Quote

In the second century, Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons (c. 130–202) said that God had "become what we are, that He might bring us to be even what He is Himself."[3] He added:

Do we cast blame on him [God] because we were not made gods from the beginning, but were at first created merely as men, and then later as gods? Although God has adopted this course out of his pure benevolence, that no one may charge him with discrimination or stinginess, he declares, "I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are sons of the Most High." ... For it was necessary at first that nature be exhibited, then after that what was mortal would be conquered and swallowed up in immortality.[4]

At about the same time, Clement of Alexandria (c. 150–215), wrote: "Yea, I say, the Word of God became a man so that you might learn from a man how to become a god."[5] Clement further stated that "f one knows himself, he will know God, and knowing God will become like God. . . . His is beauty, true beauty, for it is God, and that man becomes a god, since God wills it. So Heraclitus was right when he said, 'Men are gods, and gods are men.'"[6] Clement of Alexandria also stated that "he who obeys the Lord and follows the prophecy given through him ... becomes a god while still moving about in the flesh."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divinization_(Christian)

There are tons of writings from the early fathers on this.  Whether or not their idea of deification/divinization is exactly like ours, they did believe that we can become gods. 

Does not the bold quote above from Irenaeus sound incredibly familiar?  Surely Lorenzo Snow was inspired by Irenaeus.

Edited by pogi
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20 minutes ago, pogi said:

Does not the bold quote above from Irenaeus sound incredibly familiar?  Surely Lorenzo Snow was inspired by Irenaeus.

The Lorenzo couplet does sound like Irenaeus, but he stopped too soon. If only he’d gone the rest of the way with Irenaeus, believing that God is an uncreated, immaterial spirit who made matter out of nothing. Oh well, nobody’s perfect. :)

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

Because that's what Satan wanted people to believe, that they can become Gods. 

Satan always wanted to become God, and even convinced 1/3 of the host of heaven that they should follow his plan.  John Milton wrote an epic poem about it called "Paradise Lost," in which he pitted Satan against God (1674).  Here is a short excerpt:

Quote

........

Th' infernal Serpent; he it was, whose guile 
Stird up with Envy and Revenge, deceiv'd 
The Mother of Mankind, what time his Pride 
Had cast him out from Heav'n, with all his Host 
Of Rebel Angels, by whose aid aspiring 
To set himself in Glory above his Peers, 
He trusted to have equal'd the most High, 
If he oppos'd; and with ambitious aim 
Against the Throne and Monarchy of God 
Rais'd impious War in Heav'n and Battel proud 
With vain attempt.   Him the Almighty Power 
Hurld headlong flaming from th' Ethereal Skie 
With hideous ruine and combustion down 
To bottomless perdition, there to dwell 
In Adamantine Chains and penal Fire, 
Who durst defie th' Omnipotent to Arms. 
Nine times the Space that measures Day and Night 
To mortal men, he with his horrid crew 
Lay vanquisht, rowling in the fiery Gulfe 
Confounded though immortal: But his doom 
Reserv'd him to more wrath; for now the thought 
Both of lost happiness and lasting pain 

.................

However, the reason for God's condemnation of Satan was because his plan was to save everyone by disallowing free agency.  Satan loved totalitarian dictatorship, and wanted all the glory for himself.  God the Father preferred the plan of his Firstborn, Jesus, in which all men are free to choose for themselves, and in which he sacrificed himself and gave the glory to the Father.  Only such a selfless plan had value.  Those of us born on Earth all chose the plan of Jesus, our elder brother, during the great heavenly council in which we shouted for joy.  Those who chose Satan's plan were cast out of heaven forever.

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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27 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

This is, of course, one of the huge differences between traditional Christianity and LDS Christianity: the nature of God. If God and humans have the same nature, then it absolutely makes sense that humans can become gods -- it's in our nature. However, if humans and God have different natures, then it just won't work. It would be like saying a really good dog can grow up to be a human someday. Ain't gonna happen.

So it goes back, like a lot of these disagreements do, to the nature of God and humans, which has always been a huge sticking point between traditional and LDS Christianity.

Just curious as to how you interpret the following scriptures:
"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matt 5: 48)
"Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High," (Ps. 82:6)

 

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1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

The nature of a horse is to be a horse. The nature of a dog is to be a dog.

The nature of a man is to become like God, if he is able to fill the measure of his creation.

It becomes a problem of semantics and definition that's all.

When I use the phrase 'by nature', I don't consider what stage of development a life is at. For example, a baby born
to human parents is a human life.  It is even a human life when conceived and remains a human life as he or she
grows up in the womb.  A baby horse is by nature a horse. Likewise, if Heavenly Father and Mother procreated spirit
children, they are by nature already gods like by nature their parents are gods.

Jim

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8 minutes ago, Spammer said:

The Lorenzo couplet does sound like Irenaeus, but he stopped too soon. 

Or perhaps it is Irenaeus who stopped to soon ;)

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21 minutes ago, pogi said:

Or perhaps it is Irenaeus who stopped to soon ;)

Lol touché.

Although....I’ve waited a long time to be pointed to an ancient Christian writer who believed the LDS version of theosis (where the Father is a resurrected, glorified man with a body of flesh and bones), instead of the Catholic version held by bishops like Irenaeus, Clement and Athanasius (who said “God became man so that men might become gods”). That seems to be par for the course though - LDS apologists quoting ancient Christians who belong to the Catholic tradition. Why quote Catholics? Why not quote someone who believed what the LDS Church teaches?

Edited by Spammer
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5 minutes ago, theplains said:

When I use the phrase 'by nature', I don't consider what stage of development a life is at. For example, a baby born
to human parents is a human life.  It is even a human life when conceived and remains a human life as he or she
grows up in the womb.  A baby horse is by nature a horse. Likewise, if Heavenly Father and Mother procreated spirit
children, they are by nature already gods like by nature their parents are gods.

Jim

As a caterpillar now is, a butterfly once was; as a butterfly now is, a caterpillar may become. 

Same nature, but we call them different things. 

 

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

Well, it does mention Satan convincing Eve that she can become like God in the Bible. And Freemasonry is part of the church's beginnings. Why do we have the all seeing eye and other symbols on our temples and in our tabernacles, and have similar signs and tokens? Or the lion and beehive, both have masonic meanings. If you read about it in the link, they mention men working on their own salvation. And this is what the non-LDS Christians are saying  LDS do and that it is heretical.

 https://www.jashow.org/articles/where-do-masonry-and-christianity-conflict-part-1/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormonism_and_Freemasonry

I don't know what Free masonry has to do with this. Free Mason do not teach anything about becoming gods - even at the 33rd degree...

Going back to Genesis, you seem to be adopting a Protestant interpretation. Here is what the conversation between Eve and the serpent:

Gen 3:3 God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

So is there a lie? Yes, there is, but was the serpent misleading her about becoming as elohim?

22 And the Lord God/YHWH Elohim said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

Aren't the YHWH telling Adam and Eve that they have become as elohim to know good and evil? It seems like this is one of the very first lessons of the scriptures, but Protestantism says no. Adam and Eve caused man to be born in sin rather than born holy. The spiritual lesson is totally lost in literalism and temporal reading.

 

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1 hour ago, MiserereNobis said:

This is, of course, one of the huge differences between traditional Christianity and LDS Christianity: the nature of God. If God and humans have the same nature, then it absolutely makes sense that humans can become gods -- it's in our nature. However, if humans and God have different natures, then it just won't work. It would be like saying a really good dog can grow up to be a human someday. Ain't gonna happen.

So it goes back, like a lot of these disagreements do, to the nature of God and humans, which has always been a huge sticking point between traditional and LDS Christianity.

Yes semantics and the definition of totally ambiguous words like "nature" and "substance" is all that divides us.

A real shame.

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52 minutes ago, theplains said:

When I use the phrase 'by nature', I don't consider what stage of development a life is at. For example, a baby born
to human parents is a human life.  It is even a human life when conceived and remains a human life as he or she
grows up in the womb.  A baby horse is by nature a horse. Likewise, if Heavenly Father and Mother procreated spirit
children, they are by nature already gods like by nature their parents are gods.

Jim

I agree, makes sense to me!

As the Bible says, "ye are gods"...

We are gods in embyro, growing up, just like Our Parents

 

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

Well, it does mention Satan convincing Eve that she can become like God in the Bible.

Correct.  Satan-Lucifer told her the truth, and she made the only correct decision.

1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

And Freemasonry is part of the church's beginnings. Why do we have the all seeing eye and other symbols on our temples and in our tabernacles, and have similar signs and tokens? Or the lion and beehive, both have masonic meanings. If you read about it in the link, they mention men working on their own salvation. And this is what the non-LDS Christians are saying  LDS do and that it is heretical.

 https://www.jashow.org/articles/where-do-masonry-and-christianity-conflict-part-1/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormonism_and_Freemasonry

Freemasonry and the symbols you mention are late and derivative.  What the anti-Mormons never tell anyone is that Renaissance magi were preaching all that and being burned at the stake for it, but they were only repeating the great Hermetic teachings of a thousand years before, all of which goes back to even earlier antiquity.  In  addition, early Christianity explicitly taught that people could become gods.  In fact, that is the promise of Jesus to his followers:

John 17:21, "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us:" (cf. Jn 17:11-12, I Jn 3:2)

C.S. Lewis wrote: 

Quote

"The command Be ye perfect is not idealistic gas.  Nor is it a command to do the impossible.  He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command.  He said (in the Bible) that we were "gods" and He is going to make good His words.  If we let Him -- for we can prevent Him, if we choose -- He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfect (though, of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness.  The process will be long and in parts very painful; but that is what we are in for.  Nothing less.  He meant what He said." (Mere Christianity, p. 153.)

This was not only an integral part of early Christianity, but also of pre-Christian Judaism:

J. J. Collins, “A Throne in the Heavens: Apotheosis in Pre-Christian Judaism,” in Death, Ecstasy, and Other Worldly Journeys, eds. J. J. Collins & M. Fishbane [N.Y.: SUNY Press, 1995], 43-58.

Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christianity still teach that fundamental doctrine (apotheosis),

Stephen Fnlan and Vladimir Kharlamov, eds., Theosis: Deification in Christian Theology, Princeton Theological Monograph Series (Pickwick Publ./Wipf & Stock, 2006).

V. Kharlamov, The Beauty of the Unity and the Harmony of the Whole: The Concept of Theosis in the Theology of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite (Wipf & Stock, 2008).

V. Kharlamov, ed., Theosis II: Deification in Christian Theology, Volume Two (James Clark, 2012).

George of Mount Athos, Theosis: The True Purpose of Human Life (Holy Monastery of Mount Athos, 2006).

Nancy J. Hudson, Becoming God: The Doctrine of Theosis in Nicholas of Cusa (Catholic University of America Press, 2007).

V. Karkkainen, One with God: Salvation As Deification and Justification (Liturgical Press, 2004).

D. Keating, Deification and Grace (Sapientia Press, 2007).

Norman Russell. Fellow Workers with God: Orthodox Thinking on Theosis (St. Vladimir’s Press, 2009).

N. Russell, The Doctrine of Deification in the Greek Patristic Tradition (Oxford University Press, 2004).

S. Thomas, Deification in the Eastern Orthodox Tradition: A Biblical Perspective (Gorgias Press, 2008).

 

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2 hours ago, Spammer said:

Lol touché.

Although....I’ve waited a long time to be pointed to an ancient Christian writer who believed the LDS version of theosis (where the Father is a resurrected, glorified man with a body of flesh and bones), instead of the Catholic version held by bishops like Irenaeus, Clement and Athanasius (who said “God became man so that men might become gods”). That seems to be par for the course though - LDS apologists quoting ancient Christians who belong to the Catholic tradition. Why quote Catholics? Why not quote someone who believed what the LDS Church teaches?

I think the glorified man part is more from modern revelation than a restored truth from what I can tell.  Maybe some of the early, early fathers understood this (early as in Adam😀), but we don’t have any record of that - but Irenaeous has to get this idea of theiosis from somewhere, right?  Inspired? Yes. Complete? Almost.

I think that apologists quote early church fathers to show that our teachings of deification are not really that peculiar.  We certainly have our own unique twist but the similarities in teachings are undeniable. 

Edited by pogi
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38 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Yes semantics and the definition of totally ambiguous words like "nature" and "substance" is all that divides us.

A real shame.

Well, and the fact that in orthodoxy we cannot be begotten as Christ was, because He is inexplicably begotten before all ages and worlds rather than in time by the oath of the Father that "Thou art my Son, this day I have begotten thee." 

I believe it's another of those slight of hands like "thou shalt not surely die." 

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3 hours ago, Tacenda said:

Because that's what Satan wanted people to believe, that they can become Gods. 

Too simplistic.

How do these same passages define this change?  Knowing good from evil.

Do you really believe God didn't ever want us to know the difference between good and evil, that God actually wanted us to remain ignorant of the existence of darkness, unprepared for any opposition, and unable to fully appreciate the light for all eternity?

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It is a bit absurd on the face of it. I mean....I have met men and the last thing anyone should do is let them rule the Universe.

Yet still true. Of course I am different. I would be a good deity. Been training for it since I was a child like this one:

6ddbce3d9fca40764500f093b8a1a744.jpg

 

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47 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

Well, and the fact that in orthodoxy we cannot be begotten as Christ was, because He is inexplicably begotten before all ages and worlds rather than in time by the oath of the Father that "Thou art my Son, this day I have begotten thee." 

I believe it's another of those slight of hands like "thou shalt not surely die." 

Well that is  the  immanence problem- and the old creator/created thingy which makes about as much sense- none.

If Christ was begotten "before" all worlds then  the concept is still temporal.  "Before" is a time reference.  And the Catechism speaks of why God created us- "to show forth his goodness".

If He is the creator then he created us- there must have been a time before he created us and after he created us just logically.   You cant have one event after another and not be in "time"

The usual answer is that "it's a mystery" because no one can explain the contradictions, and they all seem to be semantic problems to me.

If we start with the presumption that we cannot explain God- as I think we do-  we do not have to even TRY to figure out things like how to resurrect someone because that has not been revealed.

So on one hand it is called a mystery and on the other some thinkers come up then with non-explanations to explain what cannot be explained.

That's why I am drawn to mysticism- yeah  we cannot explain it in language.

Stop.  End  of story.   It's revelation to the feelings, visions and direct experience-  fergitabout trying to put it into words.   If no one knows, say so!

I could even believe in the "real presence" in the sacrament that way- but no- they have to come up with some crazy explanation that makes no sense.!   All one has to say is "Jesus is here" and that's all that can be said about it.  No need for "substance" and "appearance" distinctions.

Again Rorty-  says there isn't much you can say about a lot of things- and Wittgenstein- "On what cannot be explained clearly we must remain silent"

Sounds pretty wise to me!   God testifies to my heart that it is true- who needs nonsensical explanations??  ;)  Prideful .... nonsense

 

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